Lakeshore visit: con­cern cy­cle trail fenc­ing would cut ac­cess

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - PAM JONES [email protected]

LAND and In­for­ma­tion New Zealand (Linz) rep­re­sen­ta­tives will visit lakeshore along the pro­posed Cromwell to Wanaka cy­cle trail to dis­cuss the project and planned fenc­ing at Low­burn.

Plans of the Cen­tral Otago Queen­stown Trail Net­work Trust to fence the trail from Lake Dun­stan from Pisa Moor­ings to the Low­burn Cut­ting have an­gered many Low­burn res­i­dents, who do not want ac­cess to the lake re­stricted.

The pro­posal is to have low fenc­ing that would pre­vent ve­hi­cle ac­cess, and the trust has asked the pub­lic for feed­back about that idea and other as­pects of the trail.

Linz deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Crown prop­erty Jerome Shep­pard this week said Linz rep­re­sen­ta­tives would meet a trail trust project man­ager on site at Lake Dun­stan in the next few weeks to dis­cuss the cy­cle trail. This would in­clude the pro­pos­als to re­strict ve­hi­cle ac­cess along part of the trail.

Mr Shep­pard said ‘‘we plan to drive and walk the route to look at where it will go and the im­pact it will have on lake users and on any fu­ture plans that Linz might have for the ar­eas. We will also be dis­cussing the kind of fenc­ing they [the trail trust] want to in­stall, in­clud­ing look­ing at the height and ac­cess points.’’

Low­burn farmer Don­ald Young spoke out ear­lier this week against the fenc­ing and was later joined by Cromwell res­i­dent Dr Greg White.

Dr White said Cen­tral Otago res­i­dents would ‘‘not tol­er­ate pub­lic land ac­cess be­ing re­stricted’’.

‘‘Lo­cals have fought back in the past against lake­front prop­erty own­ers try­ing to claim or land­scape pub­lic lake­front land as their own, with­out ap­pro­pri­ate con­sents. Lo­cals have also had to sit and watch with in­creas­ing dis­quiet as Linz and the CODC [Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil] have al­lowed hordes of free­dom cam­pers, back­pack­ers and Mo­tor Car­a­van As­so­ci­a­tion users take over the en­tire lake­front re­serve at Low­burn, as well as at the Clyde dam, and Bendigo re­serves in re­cent years.

His fam­ily could no longer go and pic­nic or boat along the Low­burn Boat Har­bour beach­front area, as they used to, ‘‘due to it be­ing lined with wall­towall camper vans and mo­tor­ homes over sum­mer’’, he said.

Dr White said he was a keen cy­clist and looked for­ward to an ex­tended cy­cle net­work ‘‘and will no doubt use it, but I don’t ex­pect to have sole ac­cess to por­tions of the lake­front, and will make way for walk­ers and ve­hi­cles as needed.

‘‘Cy­clists will pass through this sec­tion in about 10 min­utes,’’ Dr White said.

‘‘Lo­cals and hol­i­day­mak­ers spend all day at the lake­side.

‘‘I think the trail is less likely to be dam­aged if left open than block­ing the pub­lic from go­ing near it’’.

Mr Young said last week he thought Low­burn res­i­dents had been promised ‘‘un­hin­dered ac­cess’’ to the lake­front as com­pen­sa­tion for the Clyde dam project, but a Con­tact En­ergy spokesman said he was not aware of any for­mal ac­cess agree­ment.

Mr Shep­pard said he was also not aware of any for­mal ac­cess agree­ment be­tween the Gov­ern­ment [of the day, when the dam was built] and res­i­dents, ‘‘how­ever, main­tain­ing ac­cess to the lake for lo­cal peo­ple is re­ally im­por­tant to us. We will be work­ing with the trail trust to en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate ac­cess is main­tained’’.

Trail trust chair­man Stephen Jef­fery was un­avail­able for com­ment but peo­ple can pro­vide feed­back at opin­ion.co­qtnt @gmail.com

❛ I think the trail is

less likely to be dam­aged if left open than block­ing the pub­lic

from go­ing near it

WANAKA QUEEN­STOWN CROMWELL ALEXAN­DRA

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